Connect with us

Article

ISMAILA ISA FUNTUA: WE BEGAN AS ADVERSARIES…

Published

on

ISMAILA ISA FUNTUA: WE BEGAN AS ADVERSARIES…

But my first close contact with Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua was as an adversary in 2013. In fact, it is one of the ‘greatest comebacks in history’ that we eventually became quite close, and we began to exchange confidences. I also visited him at home many times.

How did it all begin?

I had served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) under the presidency of Mr Gbenga Adefaye, whom I consider a brother and senior friend.

In fact, he was the one who directly invited me to contest for a position in his team, when he was aspiring for office. Fortunately, I ran, and was elected.

For the four years that Adefaye’s Presidency lasted, it was a delight serving with him. I must also say I learnt a lot, and was well tutored in the operations and administration of the NGE.

Adefaye is an Ile-Ife man, while I am from Ipetumodu, just about ten minutes drive away. That made us kindred. And to make the ties stronger, his wife is from my community, and I usually call her ‘my sister.’

A search began in late 2012 for who would become the next NGE President, as Adefaye’s two terms of two years each gradually wound down. I didn’t have an ambition. Don’t forget that I actually went to serve because my friend, brother and respected professional superior was the President.

And then, something happened! We were in Benin, the Edo State capital, for that year’s All Nigeria’s Editors Conference (ANEC), the biggest and largest annual gathering of editors across all media platforms.

I was resting in my hotel room, after the day’s activities, when I heard a knock on the door. I welcomed a three-man team, including a former president of the NGE.

What was their mission?
“We have come to invite you to contest for NGE President when Adefaye finishes his second term next year.”

Shock was an understatement. I was completely taken aback. Hey, I had never considered it. Not for one moment did it ever cross my mind.

My first response was to tell them that it was impossible. Just like Nigeria, the NGE has an unwritten agreement about leadership. It must rotate between the North and the South. How then can an Ile-Ife man finish, and an Ipetumodu man succeed him? If you shouted loud enough from one of the communities, you would be heard loud and clear in the other. How then can it be?

But the delegation told me it was something they had considered, and that the NGE was a professional association, which should not be subjected to all the considerations of partisan politics. And they promised to back me all the way, informing that they had consulted widely before coming to meet me. I looked at their composition. It was a rainbow coalition, from the major tripod that constitutes the country.
I thanked them, and they left.

Yes, you guess right. The first place I headed to thereafter was Mr Adefaye’s room. I briefed him. From his reaction, it was crystal clear that he knew all about the meeting. The team had apparently met with him, before it met with me. He encouraged me to give it a shot.

An Ipetumodu man succeeding an Ile-Ife man in office? It ran completely contrary to the principles of zoning. He repeated the same thing the team that met with me had said: we are a professional association, not partisan politicians.

Curiously, after some thought, I began to like the idea. President of the Guild of Editors! Very attractive. But also, the work. A whole lot of work, as I’d seen the Presidents of the past doing: Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Mr Biodun Oduwole, Mallam Garba Shehu, Mrs Remi Oyo, Baba Halilu Dantiye, and Adefaye.

The first thing I did was to visit and consult with elders of the profession. Uncle Sam Amuka. Ray Ekpu. Soji Akinrinade. Dan Agbese. Yakubu Muhammed. Mike Awoyinfa. Dimgba Igwe. Segun Babatope. Folu Olamiti. Eluem Emeka Izeze. Bayo Onanuga. Victor Ifijeh. Bonnie Iwuoha. Dr Tonnie (now Professor) Iredia. Mallam Wada Maida. Raheem Adedoyin. And many others. I got their blessings. And we were good to go.

Then a spanner was thrown in the works. It was January 2013, with elections weeks away, when I got a phone call from one of my allies.

“Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua has told us to tell you that you can’t run, and you should step down. He says how can an Adesina succeed an Adefaye? He says it’s the turn of the North, and he’s one of our very respected elders. We have to obey him.”

I kept my cool. For me, becoming NGE President was not a matter of life and death. I didn’t even have an ambition originally. The convention, in which elections would be held, was already scheduled for Ibadan, in Oyo State. Step down or go the whole hog?

I decided to consult again. You know what I found out? Heck! Heck again and again. All those I spoke to, including friends from the North, stuck to their guns. I should contest, and they would be with me, stand by me all the way.

I made up my mind. Let’s go to the polls, and let the better man win. Mallam Isa raised a candidate from the North, and tried to mobilize the region in every way. But my supporters from the North were in their numbers. Friends and brothers. Names and details in future, surely.

We campaigned round the country. I got assurances from every corner. And so, to the polls we went. The result was a landslide in my favor, with majority of the delegates from the North and South voting for me. It was democracy in action.

The election ended late on a Friday night at Premier Hotel in Ibadan. We were still jubilating at the victory, when my phone rang. Who was at the other end? Mr Ita Ekpeyong, Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS). He told me they had been monitoring events, and congratulated me on my victory.

“Now that you are NGE President, please use the position to unite the country, “ he counseled. I thanked him.

The next morning, who called me next, as we were at breakfast table? Muhammadu Buhari. Former military head of state, three-time aspirant for the presidency of the country. He congratulated me, wishing me a successful term in office.

The groundswell of congratulatory messages from round the country was overwhelming. But from Mallam Isa, mum was the word. The silence was thunderous, foreboding, thick enough to cut with a knife.

The campaigns were a bit acrimonious, but with elections concluded, we were one big family of editors again. I and my challenger teamed up, became quite cordial again, and the relationship lasted till he sadly passed away some years later.

It was Adefaye who first spoke to me about the need to reach and pacify Mallam Isa. I concurred. He asked me to visit the man at home in Abuja, which I did.

The lion was in its den, and I approached with trepidation. Would I become mincemeat? No need to fear. He welcomed me with open arms, and we immediately struck a friendship that lasted all his life. He said his opposition to my candidacy was nothing personal, but something meant to strengthen the cohesion of the country. From then, we began to talk on phone almost every Friday, whenever he read my weekly column in Daily Sun. Any week I wrote about a possible Muhammadu Buhari Presidency, the discussion was usually quite robust. He was a believer in the cause. Strong one.

Let me make a revelation, or rather, two, at this point.

On March 31, 2015, final results of the presidential polls were coming in. As Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspapers, I had worked late, closing about 11 p.m. Got home shortly before midnight, and by then, the last result had been announced, showing that General (as he was then) Muhammadu Buhari had been elected President. I felt fulfilled, as I had supported him right from his days as a military ruler.

My phone rang shortly after midnight. The voice was unmistakable. It was Mallam Isa, and he said, “Please hold on for the President-elect.”

Gen Buhari came on the line. And he said:”Adesina, I want to thank you very much. Thank you for your support all these years. There are people who could have paid you in millions, but you chose to support me, when I couldn’t even give you a bottle of Coke. Thank you very much.”

The second revelation. Date was May 31, 2015. The new President had been inaugurated two days earlier. I had attended the event at Eagle Square, Abuja, but was back in Lagos. I was home, a Sunday, and it was about 5 p.m.

A phone call, and that familiar voice again. Mallam Isa.

“Your name will be announced tonight as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President. Should we go ahead?”

The buzz had been round town for some days. And I’d had time to think about it. I was not a government person, and never aspired to be. I enjoyed my job as a newspaper man. I had also just been elected for a second two-year term as NGE President. Should I give all that up, and go serve in government, which for me was like terra incognita? An uncharted terrain. But for Muhammadu Buhari, I would do anything. So, I told Mallam Isa that the announcement could be made. And as they say, the rest is history.

In my early days in government, and till his sad passage, Mallam Isa was only a phone call away. And his house only ten minutes drive away. I visited mostly on Sunday afternoons, on my way from church.

The news of his death hit me like a bolt from the blues. He always looked healthy, regal, a grand old man. But death. Is that not a debt we all owe? All mortals are doomed to death.

Mallam Isa not only reconciled with me, he also did with all my allies from his part of the country, who led my campaign and voted for me as NGE President. He was an adversary that later became a dear senior friend. Adieu. Rest in perfect peace.
*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

UMore…https://www.femiadesina.com/ismaila-isa-funtua-we-began-as-adversaries/

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Article

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN TODAY’S MARRIAGE; WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN SUCH CONDITION AS A BELIEVER?

Published

on

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN TODAY’S MARRIAGE; WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN SUCH CONDITION AS A BELIEVER?

Domestic violence is a violence or other abuse in a marriage.
Domestic violence could involve any body but I’m looking at it in a family setting between a man and his wife.

Domestic violence includes

  • Physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religion reproductive and sexual abuse.

Many people are going through a lot in marriages today, some Christan homes inclusive. This has caused a lot of harms in homes, churches and the society at large. So many women have lost their lives in the process,men inclusive but women are mostly at the receiving end. And they endure mostly even to the point of loosing their lives. This they do because of:

  1. The love they have for their spouse
  2. Because of their children
  3. What the society will say about them
  4. Because of their faith and religion.

Please when beating and sexual molestation becomes the case in your home, there’s need for separation.

Now in as much as the Bible frowns at divorce, I don’t think it’ll be reasonable for one to remain in an abusive marriage where his/her life is a stake. The same children you think about will still be maltreated, neglected and will be forced to face horrible situations the moment you are gone. The same society you are thinking of what they will say will still blame you for not speaking out on time. Your making heaven is even very slim because I don’t think your heart is clean in that condition. Your bad thoughts, unforgiveness and bitterness is enough to send you to hell. And instead of you to commit murder, I think you should separate if that’s the only option left.

Many women are going through alot. When a domestic violence involves life threatening abuses, there’s need for you to seek for help.

Many women have died in this process. Pls being born again doesn’t mean your brain should be suspended. Yes divorce is a sin but you shouldn’t die either because you are married. You are being asked to keep praying often times, yes but you could do that also while away. Many women are dying silently. Women please speak out in such conditions, don’t keep quiet. Make sure the problem is not from you. Make sure you are not the cause of it.

I have seen a woman beating blue black by her husband. Not once not twice. Infact the man always use cane,belt etc on her. And she’s asked to keep praying. What if she die one day? What if she couldn’t take it any longer and tries to defend herself and kill her partner in the process, what will be her lot?

Women should take the necessary steps the moment they see that things are getting out of hand.

Try to see how you could save the situation by involving your spiritual leaders, your both families,the people your partner respects so much and if there’s no changes please take a break while you pray and take the necessary steps to save your marriage.

Pls note that your being away is for the mean time. Even while away you are to remain and keep your body. It’s not a time to go about messing up. If you do that you are commenting sin. You are to maintain sexual purity. Even when your partner is doing otherwise. The only time remarriage is possible is when one partner is dead. See Romans 7:2,1cor.7:39.

Neighbors should as well look out for their fellow women/men. Please speak out for them. Some of them are in a tight corner and can’t help themselves.

Stay tuned for the next post on this same topic!

Say no to domestic violence.

What’s your take on this? Share your opinion.
Will you allow your daughter, sister, brother,son go through domestic violence?
What will you have them do;the abused?

By Chika Helen Nwabueze’

Continue Reading

Article

LEKKI SHOOTINGS: SANWO-OLU HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, SAYS FSD

Published

on

LEKKI SHOOTINGS: SANWO-OLU HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, SAYS FSD

By Oladimeji Ramon

A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.

According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.

The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’

The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”

Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.

It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.

“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”

The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.

The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”

It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”

The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.

  • PunchNg

Continue Reading

Article

APPOINTMENT OF WTO CHIEF IN DOUBT AFTER KEY MEETING CANCELLED

Published

on

APPOINTMENT OF WTO CHIEF IN DOUBT AFTER KEY MEETING CANCELLED

• Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been expected to be confirmed as leader on Monday

By Richard Partington

The race to find a new leader of the World Trade Organization has been thrown into renewed uncertainty after the cancellation of a key appointment meeting following the US presidential election.

The Geneva-based WTO, which acts as an international arbiter for trading disputes, said it had put off a meeting scheduled for Monday that had been called to appoint Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its next director general.

Donald Trump’s administration opposed her selection in one of its final acts before the US election, despite the former Nigerian finance minister securing the overwhelming backing of the WTO’s 164 members.

The special meeting of the trade body’s general council had been convened to take a formal decision on the appointment. Officials had been set to put forward Dr Okonjo-Iweala as the candidate most likely to attract a majority, after most countries expressed a preference for her over South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Okonjo-Iweala had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be director of the global trade watchdog after securing backing from the EU, China, Japan and Australia. Liam Fox, the leading Brexiter and former international trade secretary, had run as the UK government’s preferred candidate but failed to win enough support from other countries to reach the last two in the process.

Trade experts said Joe Biden defeating Trump in last week’s election may have led to countries calling for a delay in the WTO leadership race, with the aim of securing the Biden White House’s backing for Okonjo-Iweala after he takes charge in January.

The delay in selecting a new WTO director general comes at a fragile moment for the world economy amid the second wave of Covid-19, and after years of criticism of the WTO and calls for reform from Trump.

The WTO said the meeting would be postponed until further notice, during which time the organisation would continue undertaking consultations with delegations from countries around the world to pick a new leader.

It said in a statement: “For reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November.”

  • TheGuardian

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 YouNeedToKnow. Developed by Dexcodes.